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Arguing for Authenticity: A Comparison and Contrast of Two American Modern Poets, Robert Frost and Langston Hughes

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“[F]uture commentators on American poetry and political issues will not be able to ignore the … authentic voice of the region,” argues Barry Ahearn, author of the article Poetry: 1900 to the 1940s, which discusses the importance of the author writing about his or her region of choice in their poetry and how it affects their writing (Ahearn 373). Ahearn discusses writers such as Sterling A. Brown, Langston Hughes, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), Robert Frost, Robinson Jeffers, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Lorine Niedecker, George Oppen, John Crowe Ransom, Charles Rezikoff, Muriel Rukeyser, Gertrude Stine, Wallace Stevens, Sara Teasdale, William Carlos Williams, and Louis Zukofksy. The purpose of mentioning so many, claims Ahearn, is to gather a survey of works between 1900 and the 1940s. The discussion of these writers creates a wide range of Modernist authors that influenced each other and the people who read their works; the author claims that the authenticity of the writer is what creates a more accurate work of literature and the life experiences of these authors is the material that adds to their writing as a whole. Robert Frost and Langston Hughes are regional writers that focus on specific places but have similar qualities in their poems that transcend the locale. Two poems will be discussed that exemplify these qualities: “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” with “Birches” by Robert Frost and “Theme for English B” with “Visitors to the Black Belt” by Langston Hughes.
Modernist Poetry involves a movement away from the self and the emotions of the individual. Typically, the focus of Modernist poetry revolves around the rational notions of the self, unlike the Romantic period, which focused on the poet. Modernist poets ex...


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...olarship 2004.1 (2006): 385. EDS Foundation Index. Web. 18 Apr. 2012.
Frost, Robert. “Birches.” The Norton Anthology Of American Literature. 7th. Vol. D. Ed. Leffelholz, Mary. New York: Norton & Company, 2007. 1400-1402. Print.
Frost, Robert. “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” The Norton Anthology Of American Literature. 7th. Vol. D. Ed. Leffelholz, Mary. New York: Norton & Company, 2007. 1403. Print.
Hughes, Langston. “Theme for English B.” The Norton Anthology Of American Literature. 7th. Vol. D. Ed. Leffelholz, Mary. New York: Norton & Company, 2007. 2036. Print.
Hughes, Langston. “Visitors to the Black Belt.” The Norton Anthology Of American Literature. 7th.Vol. D. Ed. Leffelholz, Mary. New York: Norton & Company, 2007. 2032. Print.
Leffelholz, Mary. The Norton Anthology Of American Literature. 7th. D. New York: Norton & Company, 2007. 1177-1191. Print.


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